✓ The presentation of spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) can be associated with various clinical and neuro-imaging features that may impede a rapid diagnosis of this entity. The authors report the case of a patient who presented with bilateral third cranial nerve palsies and bilateral subdural hematomas. Intracranial pressure monitoring proved to be useful in the diagnosis and management of SIH in this patient.
Gabriel Zada, Patrick Pezeshkian and Steven Giannotta
Steven L. Giannotta and N. Scott Litofsky
✓ Nineteen patients underwent 20 operative procedures for the treatment of recurrent or residual aneurysms. There were 13 small, three large, and four giant lesions; with one exception, all were in the anterior circulation. Five individuals presented with recurrent subarachnoid hemorrhage, six were referred for symptoms of mass effect, and nine were known to have had inadequate treatment at the time of the initial operative procedure. The average time interval from initial treatment to either recurrent subarachnoid hemorrhage or compressive effects was 10.5 and 9.75 years, respectively.
No deaths resulted from the reoperative procedures. Two patients suffered moderate disability and one had severe disability. Malpositioned or slipped clips, intraoperative rupture, and inadequate exposure were responsible for 75% of the initial operative failures. The technical difficulty of the reoperative procedure correlated with the length of time between initial and reoperative treatment, the presence of clips and coating agents, and the complexity of the lesion. A classification scheme for preoperative planning and case selection is proposed based on the technical adjuncts required for reoperative aneurysm procedures.
Steven L. Giannotta and Dennis R. Maceri
✓ A retrolabyrinthine transsigmoid approach was employed successfully in three patients with vertebrobasilar aneurysms. The major benefits of this technique include a relatively shallow depth of exposure, lack of brain stem retraction, and simplicity as compared to traditional and some recently proposed methods. All three patients have returned to their previous activities.
Michael L. Levy and Steven L. Giannotta
✓ The effect of hypervolemic preload enhancement on cardiac performance was systematically analyzed in nine patients following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The patients ranged in age from 34 to 63 years, and none had a history of cardiac disease. Each patient underwent placement of a flow-directed balloon-tipped catheter and the following measurements were taken during hypervolemic therapy: pulmonary artery wedge pressure (PAWP), central venous pressure (CVP), cardiac index (CI), stroke volume index (SVI), and left ventricular stroke work index (LVSWI). After baseline measurements were recorded, hetastarch or plasmanate was infused intravenously at 300 cc/hr. Thermal output determination and pressures were measured every 15 minutes. The PAWP did not correlate in a statistically significant fashion with the CVP in the ranges recorded; however, a statistically significant correlation did exist between PAWP increases and increases in CI, SVI, and LVSWI (p < 0.01). There was no statistical correlation between PAWP increases above 14 mm Hg and improvement in cardiac performance as evidenced by CI, SVI, and LVSWI measurements. It is concluded that CVP is an unreliable index of cardiac performance during hypervolemic therapy and that, in previously healthy individuals, a PAWP of 14 mm Hg is associated with maximum cardiac performance.
John I. Moseley, Steven L. Giannotta and Justin W. Renaudin
✓ A simple wire template is placed on the patient's head during computerized tomography scanning, and the results of the scan are later reproduced on the scalp prior to surgery. Measurements of the distance between the wires and the relationship of the mass provide the key to accurate localization of the mass on the scalp surface.
J. Diaz Day, Takanori Fukushima and Steven L. Giannotta
✓ Aneurysms arising from the posterior circulation, especially when they are large and complex, continue to present a technical challenge. The development of cranial base strategies and principles has added to surgical management options. The authors used one of four cranial base approaches for the treatment of 30 patients with large and/or complex aneurysms arising from the vertebrobasilar circulation. These approaches included the extradural temporopolar, combined petrosal, retrolabyrinthine—transsigmoid, and the extreme-lateral inferior transtubercular exposure. The indications, technique, and results of each approach in this series are discussed, and a management paradigm is suggested for such aneurysms.
J. Diaz Day, Steven L. Giannotta and Takanori Fukushima
✓ Surgical access to the parasellar, infrachiasmatic, and posterior clinoid regions has traditionally been accomplished through an intradural pterional or subtemporal approach. However, for large or complex lesions in these locations, such traditional trajectories may not afford sufficient exposure for complete obliteration of the pathological process. The authors describe an anterolateral transcavernous approach to this region that includes the following components: 1) extradural removal of the sphenoid wing and exposure of the superior orbital fissure and foramen rotundum; 2) removal of the anterior clinoid process via the anterolateral route; 3) decompression of the optic canal; 4) extradural retraction of the temporal tip; 5) transcavernous mobilization of the carotid artery and third cranial nerve; and 6) removal of the posterior clinoid process. This method results in enhanced exposure with minimal brain retraction and preservation of the temporal tip bridging veins.
This approach has been used in 22 patients: 10 with basilar top aneurysms, eight with craniopharyngiomas, one with a tuberculum sellae meningioma, and two with trigeminal neuromas; the last patient had a carotidcavernous fistula and a concomitant pituitary adenoma. Complete clip ligation was performed for all 10 basilar artery aneurysms, and gross total resection was achieved with preservation of the pituitary stalk in all tumor cases. Microscopic total resection was not possible in two cases of craniopharyngioma due to hypothalamic invasion. Two patients suffered transient postoperative hemiparesis, and one patient has persisting weakness; however, no patient followed for more than 6 months suffered any persistent cranial nerve morbidity. It is concluded that this procedure can serve as an alternative to either the transsylvian or subtemporal approaches when cranial base pathologies are large or complex.